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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been delegated responsibility for assuring the navigability of waters designated for that purpose in the United States. Dredging is among the activities required to fulfill this responsibility. In some places, the Corps finds difficulty in carrying out dredging projects because it lacks spaces where the sediments that must be removed ("dredged materials") can be placed or otherwise managed. In these cases, the public has expressed concerns about the impacts of dredged materials on the environment, either underwater or on land ("upland"). Thus, the Corps often finds it necessary to be able to evaluate and describe the costs or risks and the benefits of the possible alternatives that may be available. Scientists and engineers at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS, are responsible for advising Corps District and Division project managers concerning methods to evaluate these risks and benefits. The ERDC asked Resources for the Future (RFF) to organize a workshop for key management and technical people within the Corps and selected outside experts to explore directions the Corps might take in order to improve those methods.


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